tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 20, 2014 5:00am-7:01am EDT
are simply fodder for exploitation by political opportunist. public opinion eads to be shaped by smaller steps, thoughtful public statements on days of historical significance, encouragement to private initiative to the history right, public admonitions of statements whether made by a political ally or political enemy, wherever they are made. there is a particular role to be played by leaders who have strong nationalist credentials. they can uniquely lead their countries to put historical animosities he heightened them without the risk of inciting domestic backlash that might in turn only create a further spiral of acrimony. as richard nixon's lead an opening to china, an opening to capitalism, so some current or future nationalist leader in japan or korea has an opportunity to leave his or her mark on history.
in addition, an important place for very private communications among national leaders. trusted emissaries need to be used to test whether an overture would be reciprocated. because public dayton's and not actions are so subject to true intentions they need to be conveyed through trusted channels. national leaders and immediate staff need to resist the temptation to week everything they do to the press to get the appearance of action and the appearance of masters of the situation. so let me conclude by providing the rest of the store by george santi ando's famous quote about history. about the dangers of forgetfulness, he goes on to explain manhunt and true orgress in which no events habits have grasp onto instincts. this is truly the challenge for the leaders and citizens for the powerful countries of southeast
asia. they need to understand their own histories and understand what has changed since the time the historical events occurred. they need to avoid history impeding development of a better future, rather than rolling ships a state while facing the stern, they need to face forward on the ground a teller and steer confidently into the future. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, admiral. hoping to look into more detail on the program. heritage has a long history of .elationships none closer with those in south korea. that is why i am honored to introduce you to the ambassador of the united states. he was appointed just this year
the president. fire to this he served as ambassador to foreign minister trades. serviceeen at foreign 36 years. needless to say, far more than i can go to in their brief introduction. suffice it to say the ambassador is an outstanding representative of the country, good friend of the heritage foundation and someone we are proud to welcome to our stage. thank you. [applause] >> good afternoon. i should begin by thanking our invitingfoundation for me to the seminar. this morning i was having breakfast with one of you, and i said it is amazing 200 people would show up on the
relationship between korea and japan in august. i said it would only happen in only washington, d.c., no other place in the world. i guess we both much of it to it fact that you organized at the heritage foundation, so thank you very much. -- at the samee time i have to say was very inspiring. thank you, admiral blair. upon issues ing history. he was depending on psychology and then depending on political science. termsruly at in disciplinary approach he has applied to japan. at the same time, i have a far
simpler approach should. i will be a book to presented in mr -- far more simpler manner. in order to do it let me raise three questions and then try to answer the three questions as observed by traditional relations and japan. my first question is what is the present state of relations in korea and japan? there simpler answer would be not the best. be very simple answer would very easily shared by all of you. but i would have to add in the sense that if you look at the part, and if i look to the , i am more optimistic when i look in the future. when i look upon the past 50
years, then korea and japan normalized the relationship in 1965. so next year we would celebrate the 50th anniversary of normalized relation -- relationships. there has been ups and downs. all in all there has been tremendous progress between the relationship of korea and japan. is why i feel very much encouraged about the relationship. , i am look to the future will grow from strength to strength. why? because we share so many things. same values, same interest. they always say, geography is destiny. so when i think about all of this commonality between korea
and japan, i am very confident for the coming 50 years and beyond we can develop the relationship from strength to strength. there has been ups and downs. could apply history and perspective and political science perspective and apply even a psychiatry at this -- psychiatrist perspective. at the same time i think whatever perspective you take there is ups and downs. there wasrn has been recognizing the past as it was and taking responsibility for the past, it created a political space for bringing the relationship to a higher place. that has been a pattern we experienced over the past 50 years. our is the reason why in
view we are deeply concerned about what is happening in the past several years. time, what ime think about the future i am very confident we will be overcoming the relationship between korea and japan. for the time being let me think about the second question, which is given the fact that we could develop relationships and positive manner and are so confident about the coming six years and be beyond, what should be done today, that will be the second question. the simple answer to the question would be a lot. there are so many things we could be doing together between korea and japan. there are a lot of things we could be doing today and then we could be doing them on two
different tracks. i would call it the track of history. the reason why i said that his korea-japan relationship is a nation to nation relationship. we know how we can develop relationship. we can strengthen the relationship insecurity. we can strengthen it in the economy. that is what we do. that is what korea does. does.s what japan that is what we should be doing in the normal way. years ins i spent 36 koran foreign service. these days i often look back about what i personally did when it comes to the relationship between korea and japan.
then i cannot be reminded again and again about what korea used to do. personally walked hand-in-hand the time when korea had to walk very hard back in 1996. when i came to geneva back in be9, then i used to responsible for human rights issues. again, i was walking closely with my counterpart. at the time the gentleman who later on became an ambassador of course. then i used to walk very closely with him on which issues? human rights issues. i impression at the time is there are large number of member countries of the human rights commission at that time. the time isn of other countries coming from asia , no other countries and japan with which we could share so
many things when it comes to the human race issue. in 2000 to an increasing number of soccer fans in the united states. in 2002 korea and japan we were supposed of football games. it does not happen too often. a very limited number when more than one country, two countries will join forces and that happened in 2002. i personally worked on the issue. 2003, president of south korea came to japan. --the time i was directional director of international issues and was wondering if there is anything i could do to develop a normal listed relationship between korea and japan and i
came up with this idea. i think many of you have been to international airport is aged. nearer. another one far i thought about tokyo. at the same time it is far nearer here to tokyo. so i came up with an idea. go all the wayto fly? thathy can't we is the idea that i came up with. then we made a proposal in japan and the japanese like the idea. that is how it began to fly. that is the reason why each time felt much pride about
and i was encouraged when i saw high school students coming to korea on a school expedition. fact, i could see a large group of high school students coming from japan who were on theto visit korea political flight. these are the examples of some of the things i personally did. so we in fact have been doing many things to strengthen relationships. getting back to admiral layers point recognizing the past is important but at the same time we have to continue to make for as, practical efforts normal relationship between korea and japan.
then i have to tell you this, again i am quoting admiral blair. issues we should be addressing. and then again admiral blair was the interdisciplinary approach about how we should be understanding issues of history, but at this time time, let me repeat to you there is a clear and distinct pattern in the relationship. there is a reason why we keep on one in fact i already shared with you what i personally did in 1990's and 21st century to strengthen relations in japan. one reason we cannot do that
very unfortunately these days is because of some of the statements coming from japan. very difficult actions being made in japan. that in fact is the reason why we keep on saying the importance of recognizing the past in a fair and honest manner. that is important in the relationship between korea and japan. so as a matter of fact i raised this issue not only with japanese but those in washington , and the other day i was talking to one diplomat coming had a very, and interesting experience behind him in the sense that he is a european diplomat but at the he started political reform phd at tokyo university
and his dissertation was on modern history of japan. this is whate of he had to say. he said when it comes to issues of comfort women, the japanese are suffering from the problem of their own creation. recognized accepted, the issue of comfort women and a fair and honest manner, the issue would have long been gone by this time. they are creating their own problem and struggling from their own problem and very painful to look upon them as somebody who spent so many years in japan studying japanese history and working as a professional in japan it is very painful to watch them. that is what i heard from the european diplomat here in d.c. so when it comes to japanese leaders i think there are two
different kinds. i think all japanese leaders, are thinking about making a proud country out of japan but at the same time some of them thinking they are doing that through recognizing the past as it was that we in fact can make a proud country. think it isme that through denial of what happened in the past that we cannot reach the same objective. i think as i already told you there are ups and downs. when we have to deal with the tendency to deny what happened in the past, it makes it very difficult to strengthen our relationship. having said that, i have come to the third point, which is when i
was ambassador for one year now which i am come to base again and again in a very different corners of washington. there is where we as americans look upon the relationship between korea and japan, how could we do in the united states theave you to improve relationship between korea and japan cap code that is a i received over and over again for the past one year. my simple answer is this, which is more of the same. in theu have been doing u.s. congress and department, the white house am a what you have been doing in the pink tanks, what do been doing in the u.s. newspapers, that in fact has been very helpful for us to try to related -- improve the
relationship. why do i say that? it is because i am getting back to the point by admiral blair, which is less -- let's recognize the past failure honestly and that is what president obama has been saying again and again. andad a press conference that is exactly what he said. the first thing that might -- must happen is to recognize the past failure and honestly come is the same message is the message from the department of state was said and prime ministers. they wanted to recognize the past as they were. that as we know it has been helpful. those states have been helpful to improve -- improve the
relationship within the u.s.. that is the message coming again and again from decision-makers as opinionn, as well makers in this town, including the heritage foundation. that is the reason why i say thank you for what you have been iing in the united states and think you can keep on doing what you have been doing so far. there are my three points. thank you so much. [applause] >> i am going to turn it over to to think about the burning questions. nine of chris nelson has one as always.
-- i know that chris nelson has one as always. >> thank you. terrific come a very important statements. i will try to run them both and my report tomorrow. was the ambassador invited and was he not able to come for some reason to this? >> this is an independent effort. clarification in case someone wondered. you use a lot is of descriptive thinking in your speech. prime were to provide
minister avi on what he should say in order to have president park and the korean friends , what with the prime minister have to say that you think the korean leadership come andept as ok yeah see wondering from what you as a practitioner, do you think aboutpossible to talk korea, japan, political reconciliation under the current japanese leadership or is this something we're just going to have to wait out and hope for the best? thank you. as i said in my remarks,
the visitors to the shrine have overwhelming symbolism that it is hard to shred out the elements of what is true and not true. if you read the prime minister statements he makes in conjunction with the visits to the shrine, they are very good, balanced statements. the dim drowned out by of the fact of showing up at the thene with all of controversy that many experts in the audience are more familiar with than i the way it was established to what the museum says and the shrine says the fact that honor some and not others. all of that has gained a size any really dwarfs whatever
japanese prime minister can say. i said in my remarks i think the way not to make -- the way to make progress is not to try to take short-term actions but somehow change symbolism because i think that is the work of generations. i think my advice to the prime minister would be to show respect to the armed forces of japan, civilians who died in the way, whichfferent gets at the honorable, patriotic the debt we all owe to those who put on a uniform and fought for us and yet is not overwhelmed by the symbolic significance of the place.
with respect to the second thoughts that just came from the floor, i think it is not necessarily who is in power in , it is not decided by the citizens in japan and what we could or could not do but i think at the same time what is inortant is understanding korea and japan about what would work for the best benefit of japan. than a fifth of the international community and i think what must happen here is understanding what must be fromn -- must have been japanese leaders. i totally agree when he says what explanations are important but at the same time when politicians make an action and the symbolism of the actions. i think they are enormously important. the considerations could
be made before any statement or action are taken and they impact would be extremely helpful in strengthening relationships between korea and japan. at theys have to look track of history, and i sincerely hope the strengthening relations would not be undermined in the truck of history. the would like to ask ambassador. i often hear the question about way -- when there may be a summit meeting between the leader of japan and rok. i know that one japanese newspaper has argued it is quite
unfair that the koreans, according to them, are asking for preconditions to be met by japan before such a meeting could take race and somehow they think why did they have to be reconditioned? could you address the issue? are their preconditions or is that slowing down the possibility of a meeting? >> of course. the thing is there are meetings between korea and japan taken place. there are different levels of ministers. there are different military meetings, etc., etc.. and then why are we having for meeting? i think they are tools, instruments. i think we should apply the practical mind in the sense that it's a summit meeting will be
there, then we should have thosen assurance that meetings in fact would go in the direction of further strengthening relationships in japan. there will behown certain expectations created, and that expectation would be when the leaders meet, we would move to a place that would be better than where we are today. that level of expectation, if it is met, that would be good, but if it is not met, there would be frustration. frustration goes in the direction of undermining the relationship rather than improving it. i would call it common sense. way in the back. blue shirt.
as the gentleman mentioned, emphasizing the importance of issues among other issues related to history, i feel you're compelled to make a couple of comments about soul-searching of the issue on the japanese side and ask for your comments. japan in the past, on the issue, is the condition the japanese military systematically coursed recruitment of the innocent evidence after research and research shows in japan ignores such thing. there was one lone isolated case where officers of the imperial the forcefully coerced
prosecution after two months it was suspended by the japanese command and officer in charge punished. this also was executed. again and again the japanese understanding is no systematic cordial of policy. ago most recently, 10 days the most seriously dependent upon source of information for the critics of japan published a major retraction of the contention that paper has been pushing previously.
there is no evident. so again and again. so what would you say to the most recent retraction, and then the background that i most recently explained? >> i am so glad we have someone of 36 years of diplomatic experience to handle that. even so you might need a second to cool down. well the question is coming from a correspondent of reminds me of a commission with a commission on statement. then when this idea first came up from the japanese government that they would be in a sense of establishing the review, then our idea was, what are you going to do with respect?
are you going to maintain or modify the code the answer was we're going to maintain it. if thatnd question was is the case, what will be commission or the mandate for the commission? they said the response was it is to further strengthen the basis of the statement. when that review commission came out with a report, there was not disappointment on the part of korea. why? on the one hand we heard the chief critic of japan stating we will continue to support the statement. at the same time am a what is the kono statement? there were three elements. the first element was core shouldn't. coercion in the sense that the japanese military was responsible for the management of military process during this time. second was admission of pain, coached. been
third point was, because at the japanese authorities engagement that hadse of the pain been caused to the members of the process, japanese government and japanese evil are under heavy response ability arising from that. then we in fact went through the somehow thend then was the coercion was obliterated. i will not go into the details but what was suggested is it was overrated. there is a reason why we could not fully understand the motivation for setting up the mission -- commission and the first place. if they are selling -- saying the element of coercion in fact that there is something to be questioning the elements of caution, then in fact how could you say we was banned by the
kono statement? that in fact is the reason why -- let me remind you a point that was made is somehow there was an issue in japan that somehow the issues of histories for which japan takes responsibility again and again but somehow korea does not accept the responsibility and keeps on raising the issue of responsibility but as a matter of fact that few is wrong. i know that but at the same time if you look at the instances when the element of coercion, which in fact has been more than throughntly established various different channels is being questioned again and again, and that from time to time by japanese authorities, as that is the reason why in fact be historyet history
and move ahead. that is the reason why we keep on saying denial will not be helpful. be thence would in fact starting point and must be the starting point. thank you. >> could i just add a more general point? the history of asia from the 1930's to about 1955 or so is not pretty in any way that you can think about it. there were a series of brutal acts a can on a large scale by many countries, against many countries. there were a a lot of innocent victims. there were some victims who were not innocent. it was a nasty place for an long time. cann't think any country have a monopoly on righteousness in the eventshame
of those 50 years. what i was trying to say is the attempt to hold a "we were "ight" and "you were wrong sweepstakes is not going to help our children and grandchildren understand what happened there, to be able to incorporate it into their memories, and the histories of their families, their fathers, the grandparents, their ants, their mothers, and hopefully move on to a better approach that will not kill and brutalize so many people, or allow other people to do it. it seems to me, this issue is so much bigger than whether on one particular day a particular thing happened. we are playing around with shoelaces when we have a huge set of major issues we have to deal with.
what i'm talking about is trying to get a large, overall understanding of this timeframe in which there were some heroes who attempted to keep bad things from happening, or who refused to carry out orders that were barbaric and right against their creed. there were some who went ahead and did it. there were many who did nothing and did not know about it, or wish they did. and perhaps could have made a difference. it is that sort of sad understanding of what went on that i think is the key to moving on, and which will not be solved by simply, o, yes, government was responsible -- was responsible for act be, or government see was responsible -- government "c" was responsible for actd. we need to take the full extent
of understanding of what went on and move forward to a better future. >> just briefly, i wanted to say that i think this frustration that some of us face, or are stuck in the middle of, we spent a great deal of time that -- telling our korean friends that the japanese have already dealt with this, have already apologized 60 times, or what ever the count is. and to some extent, that is true. but then questions like that raise the prospect that actually you haven't. we get stuck in the middle. true,arge extent, it's the government has officially dealt with the issue. but as long as you take every opportunity to reopen it, then that is what we have problems, and the ups and downs of the last 50 years. >> they should be reopened and a sense of understanding, but to use it as a clinical instrument
time and again, i think, is what is keeping us for making progress. -- from making progress. >> yes, right here. mike billington from executive intelligence review. ambassador, and perhaps also admiral blair, at think it is clear that many people here in the u.s. are anxious for japan-korea collaboration because they want them to be joining forces against china. and as is reflected with the effort to get the sad missiles the ploy, which the koreans believed were deployed against china, not north korea, and the recent effort to prevent korea from joining with china's asian .nfrastructure bank proposals i would like for you to address this. i know that the relationship with china and russia is crucial for getting peace within the
peninsula and for longtime economic development. if you could address that side of the issue, please. economictrue that relations between japan and china are getting more important. was an article in the "washington post" with a very high ranking government official in japan. ,nd there was in a sense , in the sense that it was a very simplistic theme. which was, as when there is an increasing economic relationship between europe and russia, and reasons why the country -- the countries are not reacting strongly against russia with you right -- with regard to ukraine. that thea risk relationship can create and that
the united states could be undermined. that high government official thatan expression surprised me. i was thinking about it, which must be the strategic relationship between korea and japan? in my presentation i was emphasizing again and again about common interests that we share between korea and japan. and those kind of statements someone in a responsible position in the japanese government, it could very likely have an effect on the relationship upon the countries in the region.
i truly believe it is not going to happen at all, to undermine and theon between korea united states, because of the increasing economic relationship between korea and china. that is very simplistic. and i have to remind you, and myself, that the security alliance, the security partnership, the only country allies is korea has a with the united states. and we think about security, there is only one. i could come up with hundreds of reasons why, but it is really one powerful reason why we don't think it is going to happen at all. it is the statements being made by the department of state and the white house. is not going to undermine korea's for the ship with the united states, not even by one
iota. >> let me ask one question here, because admiral blair, i don't want to miss the opportunity to ask you about this, particularly if you could comment on the new guidelines on self-defense from in thend where it fits need for u.s. activity in the region. >> i will be glad to talk about that. let me just add a quick item. i don't want to let this item stand that the united states somehow wants to get japan and korea together to form an anti-chinese coalition. that simply is not what the american interest is in this situation. china is attempting an approach in east asia, which involves
trying to gain bilateral advantage in the series of individual of relationships with countries, and it prefers to operate in a sort of spoke and in itselationship interest with individual countries, and try to increase them as the management increases. the united states, korea, and japan, i think, are all countries which believe in principles, common which applies to countries large or small in economic and security and territorial dispute and the whole rest of it. i think what the ambassador was saying about common values has to do with these values and the way we approach problems and the way we believe security and prosperity should be achieved in , byregion, by compromise
that we alliples apply to. in that sense, that is what we countries ofcratic have betterpan to relations with each other, so they can work to support these principles, which we think apply to making progress in that part of the world. on collective self-defense, as i mentioned in my remarks, i think japan has very fine military equipment, very well-trained officers and men, and an absolutely abysmal system for bringing that to bear in support of japanese and common interests around the world. set ofuilt on this principles and an interpretation of the constitution that was set entirelyrs ago under different circumstances. and i think every step that
to give its armed forces more flexibility to be used by the government, to solve japan's security problems and common security problems, it anticipating problems, participating in disaster relief, helping to deter north korea and so on, is a step to the good. i think the steps taken recently are in the right direction and i hope that they continue. shouldn't be confused a return to 1930's style militarism in japan. japan today is so far from putting the percent the month back on the bows of the ships. it.nnot even imagine i would like to separate these histories and get the history
right. japan will operate in armed forces, which will operate, i'm sure, as has japanese policy been in the past 70 years, in and are -- in a responsible manner. >> thank you, we will have to leave it there. in thankingjoin me the ambassador and admiral for being with us today. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] same will go through the
drill as the last panel. i have no idea why it is so cold in here. , you'reave not noticed very cold-blooded. let me start by introducing dr. victor cha, senior adviser and workschair at csi us and at a school foreign service at georgetown university. director for asian affairs on during the bush administration. there are a couple other titles, so many of them, but they have exhausted me. your most recent book, the .mpossible state in north korea look forward to your remarks.
evan revere, we have been looking for an opportunity to get evans here. we're very pleased to have him. cleaned up, his normal role in the lineup at heritage. bruce is senior research fellow for northeast asia. very well known on all these issues. i am sure most of you know him. he's known largely as a career korea hand. he provokes reaction from both sides, that is how we know he is doing a good job -- he makes everyone angry. bruce spent 20 years with the cia and dia, including a stint ds the korea branch and
chief for korea. i will turn it over to victor. >> thank you, walter. i want to thank heritage for the time you allow me to talk about my book when it cannot a year or two ago. know this isally cold, i came running over, it feels quite refreshing. brief make my comments and focused them on this question of why and under what these difficult historical issues have impeded cooperation between japan and career. going to get a discussion of defending one government or another government's position or who is or islandomfort women disputes. really trying to look at this from the aspect of of how and
why do we have these things impeding strategic cooperation. i have a couple points. first, again, i do not have the thisit of the discussion afternoon. forgive me if i am repeating some things that have already been said. that i amy sure repeating some things. the first point i would make is and the issue of history its ability to impede or bubble up and impact political relations is nothing new. we have seen the evan flow of -- we have seen the ebb and flow relationships during the 1970's, during the assassination attempt in the
we've seen it happen over and over again. at the risk of overgeneralization, i would say that -- the way this reaction has typically been characterized has been a great deal of emotion and anger on the korean side. what essentially is indefensible japanese side. not the same level of emotion and anger, but really indifference. we know all the issues, whether it is textbooks, statements by education ministers, the uniurity shrine -- yasukin shrine. there was almost a pattern to the cycle in which you have ,rotests, momentary disruption some more anger.
and then eventually a return to normalcy in one form or another. there is a pattern of interaction over those that we have seen over time. that is the first point. the second point is that today it is a little different. it is different in three ways. , again, the that risk of overgeneralization -- in the past we have seen these disputes arise and they have holiday cycle -- they have followed a cycle. what is different today from the current cyclese are not efforts to change the these history issues. the history issues have always been there. what seems different this time is that we are really talking intentionally or unintentionally, that are aimed at trying to change the status quo.
in the previous south korean made the decision to rocks,hose two little whatever you want to call them, when he made the decision to visit those rocks, that was changing the status quo. that was not just provoking the apanese to come up with reaction that will also change the status quo on their side. also setting a precedent for future south korean presidents, where they will feel at one point or another pressure to do the same thing. that reallyething did change the status quo. it led to a reaction by japan that was beyond something we have seen before. this immediately escalates the situation. when there was talk about, prior to the review that was undertaken, when there was talk suggesting that prime minister e would reinterpret the
statement, that leads to spirals in terms of the relationship. during the george w. bush administration, this was after i left office but something my successor had to deal with. when we had the crisis over the .aming of the rocks that was something that created a great deal of consternation in south korea, even led presently to position himself in meeting president bush. he had him stand right at the dokdo, takeshima
was, so he could say this belongs to korea. there is a fascinating piece that recounts all of this. decision was to return it to the status quo because we do not know how to resolve these issues, except to maintain the status quo. that is something that is different today that the things that we are seeing are really angling more towards changing the status quo then not. quite obviously, that is why we have this panel. these issues have come to the level where they have been an impediment to pragmatic and strategic cooperation's. whether you are talking about partsry service and agreement on military information sharing or the fta and a currency swap, meetings between leaders, all of this has been held hostage to this particular cycle of historical
problems. ,he third difference these days this is my own view, i don't know if everyone shares this view. what wei mentioned that see is generally korean emotionalism and anger has japanese indifference. i think what is different today, you still have the same korean emotionalism and anger. what is different is the shift on the japanese side. particularly on long, i would say among even korean friends in the bureaucracy, but certainly in the media and the politicians. atigue. in korea fo they are tired of it, tired of the harping and complaining and they do not want to deal with it anymore. in a way that we have not seen in the past.
thethird point that is historical issues are obviously bad for the soul-tokyo cooperation but they have ripple throughout the region. they certainly complicate military andrea strategic operations, for all the reasons we are aware of. whether you're talking about dealing with north korean boats or missiles or any of these sorts of things, the inability able to share information , foressly or to be able to the u.s., being able to operate seamlessly between our two alliances, certainly makes it much harder and more complicated for the u.s.. at a political level, it really or stains thees
pivot or rebalance asia. the notion that we are doing this but at the same time our allies are dysfunctional and terms of their relationship with one another. it begs the question of how successful the pivot is. and then, of course, these sorts of difficulties only served to embolden others in the region. korea, of course, and also china. if one of the things that china wants to do is to delegitimize and complicate the u.s. bilateral alliance structure in asia, have in his very between ourl spat two key allies in asia as something that is quite welcome. that makes it easier for china to put for this effort to try to delegitimize. it is not a question of trying
to compete militarily with the , but to asia delegitimize the notion that these alliances are a core element and a legitimate leadership element of the architecture in asia. something the chinese would clearly like the region not to believe. ,o japan created this function the u.s.-japan, korea dysfunction only serves that purpose. recommendations -- history, i wrote quite a bit on this in my first , it was onacademic u.s.-japan, korea and the historical issues. i believe there is no solution to these sorts of issues. you have negotiations over comfort women and you have these efforts for the prime minister not to go to the yasukuni
shrine, but i do not think we are ever going to see a solution. even if there is an agreement on comfort women or a woman's fund the chiefla for cabinet secretary and ambassador to meet with some of the survivors, a statement of regret -- even if you get all those things, i don't think it is going to resolve the issue. many still believe that prime minister abe does not believe that japan, the japanese in theent was complicit recruitment and running of these operations. even if there is an agreement, i don't think is going to solve the issue. the wordmentioned closure on the last panel, i don't think we will get closure on this. is how we managed to
cooperation. how do we returned to a degree of normalcy? i would make three very quick suggestions. these are very specific suggestions. that i think the south koreans should be willing to have a meeting with prime minister abe on the sidelines in new york. even if there is no agreement or solution or comfort limit. you should not hold hostage summit level discussions -- you should not hold that hostage to
a just -- to a director-general level. politics is not good. there is some positive signs. president park met with the mayor of tokyo so i think there are positive signs there. take the high road. and do that meeting. japan, there really has to be an effort to start turning around public opinion in japan. i feel like it has swung completely in a different direction, one that is quite antagonistic towards korea right now. my friends in the japanese government who are good friends of korea admit that it's difficult to make the argument but they've got to figure out how to turn around this korea fatigue that we see an bashing
in the press and among the politicians. states, veryd clearly, this is a very difficult issue for the united states. they have been dealing with this for a long time in korea in terms of trying to get korea to cooperate more with japan. when it comes to the issues of collective self-defense and other things, no u.s. official will say this publicly but the united states through its actions and non-actions and whispers are essentially saying and we support japan collective self-defense but we do not support a reinterpretation of the colonial state or anything that has to do with whitewashing the comfort issue. it's not stated u.s. policy by
basically inc. that's where the united states is. it's incumbent on the united to make theorea case to japan that abe's efforts to grow japanese leadership in the world are good things. -- a long time, the region the country has wanted a more dynamic and proactive prime , andter with an agenda economic and security agenda, that is more proactive but also press upon the point that that sort of leadership -- leadership is not just about money and not just about power. it's about legitimacy. you have to be seen as legitimate. as long as issues like comfort women remain which is a difficult issue for the government to discuss and deal with, it's going to undercut all of these other efforts in
building legitimate leadership on security, as well as the economic side. at your leisure. >> thank you, let me begin by commending the heritage foundation for organizing this special set of comments and conversations. it has been extremely valuable and i thank you for bringing together such a fine group of personal friends and colleagues of mine. mes a special pleasure for and thank you for bringing me down from the wilds of new jersey to be here today. a little bit of background about me that may not have come out in the introduction, the very kind introduction and that is that i spent most of my foreign service career dealing with korea and japan including many years learning both languages and
devoted many years of my life to seeking to strengthen our u.s. relations with oath those allied countries. during my diplomatic career, i had the distinct privilege of serving as country director at the state department for both japan and korea. including a time that i would not -- that i would now characterize the height of our trilateral corrupt oration. north korea is another issue. it's a special honor to be able to participate in this discussion today. this panel has been asked to address the implications of this downturn in korea-japan relations with the united states and try levels -- and trilateral security operations and victor launches into a good discussion of that. i will try to add some additional thoughts. in doing so, let me provide you with my own assessment of the
current state of korea-japan relations to the ones you have already heard. i don't think it will surprise anyone if i echo some of the comments that have been made and suggest this relationship is deeply problem-plagued and often dysfunctional and in the worst shape i have seen it in in many years. it is deeply and personally disappointing for me to say that having spent as much time as i've spent working to improve our ties with both countries. it occurs to me that if korea and japan were two countries on different continents were separated by thousands of miles or facing different security problematic and difficult relations might not be important but they are. none of those things. neighbors facing a range of common challenges and dangers on the fact that they
find themselves at loggerheads more often than not these days and find themselves unable to establish the sort of relationship that would be in both their interests and that we know they are capable of forging is regrettable and a cause for concern. it's a cause for concern particularly to their only treaty ally, the united states of america. the u.s., to say the obvious, has a major stake in preserving peace and stability in northeast asia and cooperation with tokyo and seoul and america has a similar stake in ensuring that they rok and japan force the doses possible links to meet their common threats which are also, of course, threats to court u.s. interests in the region. my purpose today to chart the origins of the troubled ties that exist between seoul and tokyo.
others have done that but it's my job to talk about their impact on the united states and its strategic objectives in the region so let me be very frank with you. the current difficulties in tokyo andseoul undermine long-standing u.s. everest to create a trilateral partnership aimed at dealing with both the current and emerging security threats in the region. importanttically area, trilateral cooperation, to deal with north korea, that cooperation is not what it was and is not what it should be. an ties haverok-jap raised doubts in dealing with north korea and there is an advantage grade by the rift between tokyo and seoul, north korea seems to leverage that gap. japan --rokted
relationship is being looked at haveina which as others suggested probably sees an advantage to begin from current korea-japan tensions. the prc has made very clear in recent months that it regards the u.s. centered alliance system in the asia-pacific region as an anachronism and is no longer relevant to the region's current security concerns. some chinese officials have even china-centric a security system based on asia for asians approach should replace the network of u.s. alliances in the region. seouls in tokyo and should reflect very carefully and whether their inability to yield more effectively with the issues between them may be creating a tactical or strategic opening for a beijing that has developed and have -- and evidence allergy to u.s. led regional security architecture.
currentalso suggest difficulties undermine a core u.s. interest in maintaining stability in the region through these very alliances i have mentioned just as they detract from the effectiveness of the deterrence that could and should be provided by a more harmonious and cooperative u.s.-japan-korea relationship. this i would argue sends the wrong message to north korea. as i've suggested, it also sends the wrong message to beijing. nevertheless, there is a bit of good news in security relations. both sides of often managed over the last several years to insulate some elements of their routine security dialogue and cooperation from the most divisive aspects of japan-rok relations and the two sides of managed to keep much of their ongoing security cooperation under the radar and that's a good thing.
the bad news is that rok-japan security cooperation remain subject to the vagaries of their to -- diplomatic and political relations and the public mood swings and media hype and mutual recriminations that has come to characterize bilateral atmospherics to an uncomfortable degree. thus, we have witnessed how reasonable and important bilateral initiatives such as the note defunct military information secrecy agreement were torpedoed because of the downturn in bilateral ties. we have seen how straightforward commonsensical operation like in sharing app in -- ammunition on a peacekeeping operation south sudan became impossible because of the negative dynamics and their relations. discussions of critically and port and mutual support and cooperation in future korean and until the contingencies are hampered or barred because of
the current atmospherics. the valuable support that japan could provide the united states in a regional contingency as a result of its revised policy and collective self-defense is today oddly and wrongly portrayed by some that somehow threatening korean security. even the normal business of diplomacy like leadership level summit talks which can serve as an important component of sending a strong deterrent message to potential adversaries, even that has proved impossible to date because of the deterioration of bilateral ties. we recently witnessed and i'm helpful -- and on helpful and useless debate on whether consultations might be needed before u.s. forces and facilities in japan would be able to help in a korean contingency. you will pardon me if i come assessment of that incident with the impression that kim jong il has
reason to be smiling. nevertheless, i am encouraged by signs that there is growing realization in tokyo and seoul that things have gone far enough and it's time for renewed efforts to reinvigorate bilateral dialogue and trilevel -- and trilateral coordination. the cooperation of the foreign ministers was encouraging and so was the recent u.s. defense trilateral in washington. earlier, the director general dialogue and north korea was also a welcome sign that these two neighbors understand the importance of ensuring that they stay on the same page. trilateral military dialogue by defense chiefs that took place in the margins of the exercise in the pacific was also valuable as were the japanese assurances that were provided to korea in that dialogue about the scope and limitations of japan's new collective self-defense doctrine. includingdialogue
bilaterally, at the ministerial level, would be valuable particularly in enhancing transparency and resolving any lingering questions and concerns that seoul may have about japanese defense planning. such dialogue is also important because we are on the cusp of a qualitative change in the nature of the threat posed by north korea. the need to refine and enhance our deterrence of north korea will be a major task in the coming months and years and that will require new levels of bilateral and trilateral security cooperation between and among us. the north korean threat is evolving in a dangerous new direction and in the not-too-distant future, the north perfection of deliverable nuclear weapons and missiles will alter regional security dynamics in troubling ways. prospectaising the that the north might use or threaten to use these weapons,
the development of the proliferation will raise questions about the validity and effectiveness of the u.s. deterrence and our commitment to defend their allies and might even spur a debate in korea and japan about the need for their own nuclear deterrent. such prospects, however realistic or remote are viewed strongly in favor of a new bilateral and trilateral dialogue about the nature of this new threat and the efficacy and credibility of the u.s. deterrent and to -- and defense commitments. i think the united states will want to have such a dialogue. future, the the other main challenge we face will emanate from china. a wealthier and stronger china is channeling growing resources into its military towards uncertain ends. beijing is also making clear that the days when follow the maxim to bide one's time is over.
a more assertive posture by the prc on territorial issues seems unlikely to go away anytime soon. this has important implications for all of us especially if the prc does not respond well to our collective and individual efforts to forge a more cooperative and transparent relationship with china. having said that, let me be clear that the task of building better ties with china remains an important point in that task is more easily accomplished if washington, tokyo, and seoul are all on the same page. that aslso suggest beijing begins to raise serious questions about the validity of the u.s. they still line system, japan and the rok have long supported the u.s. vision of the report -- of the importance of that system and i welcome the central role the u.s. has played over the decades. for the united states to continue to play that role in the face of a china that now
is going to be essential. going forward, it's going to be critically important that japan and korea and to the united states in the region that seoul rehabilitate their frayed partnership. korea and japan cannot erase their history and cannot change it and should not forget that history but they can decide that they are not destined forever to be prisoners of that. we have had several famous historians quoted today. let me cite a not so famous one, me. [laughter] by saying those who dwell solely on the past are condemned to stay there. certainlythe r.o.k. have the capacity to manage the legacy of their troubled past and dedicate themselves to building a new type of relationship in this century that reflects their common concerns and challenges. in her liberation day speech on august 15, the rok president
seemed to hold out hope that just such an approach might be possible. reminded usks, she as we have heard that next year is the 50th anniversary of the normalization of korea-japan relations and she called on both sides to set our sights on the next 50 years and start making progress towards future oriented from the cooperation, cooperative relations. the 70th will also be anniversary of the end of world war ii, the liberation of korea and the beginning of the dramatic process that saw japan eventually become a country dedicated to democracy and peace. with these auspicious anniversaries on the horizon, could there possibly be a better way for the two countries to onk the occasion next year august 15, 2015 that by issuing a joint statement of principles that would describe a new type of japan-rok relationship. would it be possible for seoul
and tokyo to agree in the coming weeks to establish a bilateral forum aimed at developing a cooperative agenda that could be addressed over the next year so that leaders in tokyo and seoul could announce what they have done in one years time? i have some symbolic steps. and public events that would form the basis of real progress between the two. in concluding, let me also ask whether it's possible that japan's prime minister and korea's president could use their speeches on august 15 next year to convey a shared agenda for future bilateral cooperation? jungate president kim dae made a good started doing that in 1998 and it's time to try this again. the turnabout in ties may not be easy to achieve but neither does it seem totally impossible. if the two sides can launch the
future oriented relationship called for by president pok, it will mark a dramatic and far-reaching consequence to stability. thank you very much. [applause] >> i would like to think of myself as the great cleanup batter and all those who preceded me today, their mission was simply to get on base and i would bring them home with a mighty swing of my analysis. i am probably like the little guy at the end of the parade saying that set. have a good time. nothing else to see. [laughter] i'm not the janitor. as we have focused on historic issues, as the u.s. looks at asian up from a historically abrupt from a security point of view and as such, we see our national interest and the threats to them.
the most obvious threat to the u.s. and our friends right now are from north korea and china3 north korea is the most immediately pernicious threat including the growing threat from its nuclear missile programs as well as military attacks on south korea. worldth korea is the closest to this threat, china is seen as the 800 pound dragon emerging from the shadows. some of the implications of this focus on the historic issues have been really taking her eyes off the ball, the very real threats in asia. both north korea and china also share another characteristic in that both of them have an incorrect view of history. in thelarly their role deaths of hundreds of thousands of south koreans during 1950-1953. eoul, thes visit to s president's side of the war as a symbol of chinese and south korean sharing interests and
defenses against the common thread. he conveniently glossed over the ine recent role of china 1950-1953 korean war. nor has china or north korea ever apologize with sincerity or otherwise to south korea for their actions during the war or any subsequent incident. north korea is not apologize for his repeated attempts to kill the south korean president or blowing up the civilian airliner and the list goes on. nor has apologized or even seized its -- seized its relentless propaganda including calling the president a comfort woman and other heinous statements. china which is currently in gauged in a charm offensive towards south korea to win it away from the u.s. and japan has also worked against south. national interest by repeatedly impeding any meaningful international response to north
korea's to acts of war against south korea in 2010 and the repeated violations of the u.s. security council resolutions. and yet china's incorrect historical viewpoint and lack of l has notn, seou refused to hold summits. beyond those obvious direct threats, there is unfortunately the more subtle threat that we have been talking about from the strained relations america very close friends and critical partners in northeast asia, the republic of korea and japan. and quicklysize gloss over the importance of our relationship with both nations for our own interest and also their interest. also the fact of the need for very close trilateral cooperation at a time of rising security threats.
that cooperation is having great difficulty even though washington's relations with seoul and tokyo are the best they have ever been but the strained relations between our allies is preventing further cooperation as well as some bladder in the u.s. with accusations of favoring one ally over the other. flareupsl the previous between tokyo and seoul and there have been many before the current administrations, washington had sought to remain aloof. there seems to be no percentage in getting involved in a fight between two close friends. the bilateral relations now have become so dire for such a long time there seems very little hope for reconciliation that washington during the past year has felt the need to become more involved in behind the scenes shuttle diplomacy. that u.s. role has perhaps not always been obvious but it has
included some quite frank messages delivered privately as it should be to both our allies .. indeed, washington has become frustrated with both of our friends. tightfistedr its approach toward resolving historic issues and with south koreas insistence on seeing every issue through the lens of history and seeming inability to take yes for an answer. cited the famous adage that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it and i would set a corollary from another of not famous historian,me. those who refuse to atone for the past and those who refuse to forget the past are doomed to endlessly repeat it and put their own future at risk. look atrst take a japanese actions during the occupation in world war ii. as ice dated at an event similar to this last month here at
heritage when we hosted a visiting japanese parliamentarian, the evidence of japanese actions and atrocities during 1910-1945 is unequivocal. it's overwhelming. for anyone in japan to question those actions or tokyo's responsibility really is a store clean an accurate and more oblique -- and morally reprehensible. it's indefensible to minimize the scope of those actions by questioning the number of king.lties atnan for americans, it is incomprehensible why japan would even provide the appearance of seeking to minimize its responsibility since those actions were 200 -- were undertaken by a japanese regime that has been irreversibly replaced by democratic system. the historic issues would not still be issues had tokyo more forthrightly and repeatedly atoned for its past and denied
those who deny those actions. successive japanese administrations have undermined their own attempts at reconciliation by adopting a minimalistic and legalistic approach. if tokyo wants to move beyond the history issues in order to fulfill its own policy objectives and play a more effective regional and even global role, it must make a more concerted systematic effort to alleviate the neighbors concerns over historic issues and to do so by embracing bolder measures. i would offer five recommendations. one would be to establish a reconciliation process to include as a minimum official, unequivocal, and repeated affirmations of the muriyami statements. a new statement would be worked out in private consultations with seoul to more fully embrace responsibility for the past actions and in return having
soul articulate what steps it will take in order to move forward. three, mutually agreed-upon mechanism for compensating the surviving comfort women. four, pledge by the prime uniister not to revisit yazak and the condemnation of any future revision of statements by japanese politicians as well as any groups advocating hate speech. this requires japan on south korea to make better lovers to build a bridge recommendation. -- reconciliation. the u.s. has its own troubled history with japan and history is important but which history? is it the history of the last century or the history of the last 70 years since the end of world war ii? turning to south korea, south koreans discern future japanese intentions based on japanese actions during 1910 and 1945 while americans tend to base their perceptions of japanese future actions on those actions
that tokyo has undertaken from 1945 to the present day. some perceived and described to the japanese government secret plans and intentions to resurrect and 1930's militarism and that view has no basis of fact. it is puzzling to americans that south korea seems more worried and more easily worked out by hypothetical japanese military threats than the very real threat from the north koreans. showsouth korean polls that japan is considered to be a security threat, second only to north korea or to be a greater military threat than north korea, americans really are just perplexed. seen and most recently in the many mischaracterizations of what the japanese collective self-defense would entail. in the japanese context, the changes that are being contemplated for collective self-defense seem monumental
given the lethargy of the last several decades in responding to changes in security. from a u.s. point of view, it is still pitifully small. even if they were to implement , it isscenarios disappointingly inadequate to what had to be done. i would recommend for south korea would be to compartmentalize and prioritize his foreign policy and exercise pragmatic leadership by not allowing emotional nationalism to impede security policies necessary for the defense of korea. would be to articulate a framework for resolving the contentious issues by defining specific steps and/or language that would enable solent tokyo to move forward rather than these continuing amorphous demands for sincerity. three would be to offer tokyo assurance that it will publicly accept japanese steps toward reconciliation. four, if preliminary steps are
taken an agreement to have a bilateral summit with japan and five, to adopt the trust policy with japan. we think of somebody implications of the strained relations, we have things like and theve self-defense military intelligence sharing agreement. another was ballistic missile defense. right now, south korea is determined to implement a less effective defense of its own populace that is otherwise possible or available. that is both a resistance to deploying better equipment such as thad or sm-6./ they are determined to maintain a final approach defense only. it's like in soccer saying that i only need a goalie. s or defense middie
players. the last-ditch final defense is like that. also sold resists integrating its system and to the broader allied system. analogy,other sports it's like having three outfielders in baseball who refuse to talk to each other. anyone who has had placed -- who has played baseball, knows they have to talk to each other because they have a different perspective. you are more likely to catch the ball when they communicate or in this case, intercept the missile. it is uncertain weisel continues to resist both those steps. some think it's because it does not want to offend china, that china would interpret this defensive system as a threat to china. obviously, china is not acting in south korea's national interests. others contend it is because
kaus -- south korea simply does not want to become involved in a system that also involve japan. conclusion, history is important but we should focus on a proper history and that it must not hold the present or the future hostage. tokyo should more effectively address its responsibility for the past. seoul should remember who its real ally is and who the real threats are. the u.s. should take whatever steps are necessary if -- to help are two critical partners to achieve reconciliation. thank you very much. [applause] >> let me open it up to questions. did you have something? go ahead. read here.
>> i love your anniversary recommendations for next year. how did this play out in terms of lifting the lid on consultations? if they had not consulted, it would have been grotesquely irresponsible. the purpose of the kona statement was to work at a reconciliation and the idea that becomes a scandal betrays -- it works at the heart of the problem we're trying to resist and maybe we need to bear that in mind. do they want to talk to each other? that is something to worry about. when i was in tokyo in late march or april and the korea
fatigue kept coming up in the all used that phrase in english, one group of people. i went out and with a bunch of journalists and they used the same thing. it is not just some propaganda thing. it is really there and it is a big problem but talking especially to this would have been the contact guys, every damn one of them is a lawyer, and you say, you are supposed to be talking about diplomacy and relationships. there is this thing about the law and the treaties that always gets in the way of what we are talking about here which is public relations. your corporate image, national image, these kinds of things. that is a way to think about the approach. what are we trying to do here? we are trying to improve japan's brand with the south koreans and vice versa.
the japanese are tired and they do not believe them anymore. maybe instead of good old washington pr -- it is a horrible thought. >> comments more than questions. thank you for indulging me. >> we have been large it is largely talking to the same group in tokyo. i think there are many people in japan, including many in the foreign ministry who have a similar take and complaint as the one you just uttered. and yes, there has been an excessive reliance on a legalistic approach on something as delicate as the comfort women issue. some might say with good reason because it is based on the normalization agreement between the rok and japan. there was a legal framework established in that dialogue and
japan is a adhering to that interpretation and this issue is closed, you know that argument. as i have been arguing with my japanese friends they made the time to lock the lawyers -- may be time to lock the lawyers up in a room and deal with this as an issue of moral responsibility, as an issue of historical closure, if you will. as an issue of japan's image in the world. when somebody countries that are -- when some many countries that are very enamored of japan and around the world have been piling on in their criticisms about japan's management of the comfort women issue. the message to tokyo should be clear, that legalisms aside, however accurate they may be, this issue has metastasized in a way that is undermining japan's
moral authority, of which it has prided itself in the 70 years, 69 years since the end of world war ii. i think one important take away from your comments just now is perhaps for senior-level japanese to internalize that and to figure out a way to set aside legalisms and deal with this from a broader historical and moral perspective. that is my two cents. >> on the review i think that is a microcosm of a lot of the historic problems and that when a diet member raised questions about the statement the administration should have said we are not doing a review. it is government policy, we have crates worth of evidence, enough said. we are not going to do a review. having gone down the path of
doing a review they have another lost opportunity when they presented it. the most important comment from the review was the cabinet secretary affirming the statement. that should have been a message which was repeated over and over and even beyond that saying let's take the opportunity to even more fully embrace responsibility in order to put this issue behind us. another lost opportunity. also it did reflect the south korean suspicion of anything japan does now. south korea should have declared victory and they should have said affirmed the statement as abe did in march and the statement before that. the reports show that even before the japanese government interviewed the comfort women from their own available holdings of evidence, they were going to as they told a south
korean diplomat, they were going to issue the statement. victory number two and victory number three would be that japan responded to south korean requests or demands for specific words, specific actions. that is what diplomats should do and that is a model for what should be done now is quietly seoul saying what it would like and tokyo saying what it might do. i think the -- they did lose opportunities on both sides to put the issue behind them. >> on the statement review, i had the same feeling when i was in seoul and there was a lot of
handwringing about what would come out about the consultations and it reaffirmed how bad things are. another famous historian, not so famous historian juan cedeno things are bad when the solution becomes a problem -- not so famous historian said you know when things are bad when the solution becomes a problem. there is this dialogue going on and we have to see how that turns out. there is more pragmatism in seoul these days. there is a tone on the korean side where they are trying to say we can carp at -- compartmentalize the issue with japan. where does that come from? i do not think that comes from
some sort of realization that they are being unreasonable. it is a inc. shot -- bank shot from the summit. people are worried that they are falling into china's lap. it is a reaction to that. when you do policy you do your best you can to make lemonade out of lemons so there is a lemon, korea falling into china's orbit. it creates some antibodies and we have to show that we are in and use that to promote more japan-courier corporation. -- japan-korea cooperation. the challenge from an everyday policy perspective is not on the korean side, persuading them. there is some. it is on the japan side because things have shifted so much as you said from your trip to japan. that is the harder rock to roll up the hill right now.
>> i am a long term resident of washington and 30 years with the world bank. korea and japan should be, to use another asian country, like siamese twins create -- twins. the parent of both countries as china. we are inseparable. culturally. to this day we use chinese , script in writing and sort of korean. although most of the things are unofficial documents with chinese evident. in our long history, but that today's issue should not just be
just a history of the end of the 19th century but rather a long history of more than 1500 years when the group of families and ownership from korea came and dominated japan. to this day the oldest city in japan is the -- named with a korean word. nara. in that background all of you , today, especially american participants said what can we do? you are essentially enjoying a fight between two countries who should have been friends and taking them on to continue fighting by putting all kinds of conditions and saying layoff. it is not that important whether comfort women did this or that or whether in the government of
the administration, the japanese military or the government of japan between 1910 and 1945 date despicable things -- did despicable things. all of you use the word the occupation of korea. there was a colonization but the japanese side did not regarded as occupation. they went in the wrong track of annexation. this was approved by the league of nations to the point and however uncomfortable it might be in the 1936 olympics, it was a korean person who raise the flag. for japan. this was the history of what
happened. >> let's see if we can get some response. >> the last concluding point is, our future together, it is the western powers that divided korea into two parts. do you think you have done enough to reunify the north and south instead of saying how dangerous north korea is? thank you. >> not sure what part of that to pick up. there is a lot of debate that we could have their -- there. to debate 1500 years of history would be beyond the scope. thank you. >> kevin with the state department, most of my career was with japan. is it -- it is important to note that the -- a lot of the noise
that you hear is not from people who represent the vast majority of people in japan. when an official made these statements, it was wartime and comfort woman was -- comfort women were necessary, he was roundly criticized about his potential as a national politician. -- by 80% of the japanese public and it was the end of his potential as a national politician. and korea referring to the revisionism or the fudging of history issues by the japanese government, it is difficult to find any statement from anyone in the current japanese government that has walked away
from the statement -- both statements. the people outside of the government have said a lot of things but abe and suga have stuck with the statements. my question is, what do you think could he said by him -- prime minister abe that would satisfy the government or are we in a situation where the current leadership in korea in this complicated situation, because of -- for president because her father might have been too close to japan. pakand didn't get a good deal in the 1965 agreement. is there anything that bobby -- abe could say in your view and what might that be that really could move this forward from the korean perspective?
>> my view on this is i don't think these are resolvable issues. even if an agreement is reached on comfort women, even if the prime minister meets with survivors and apologizes, i do not think it will resolve the issue. because there are biases on the korean side. the attribute any statement that is made by a japanese politician is conciliatory and something that is motivated by the situation. they say something that is off-color, that is the real japan. there is this bias, attribution bias that is systematic in the korean side that makes it difficult for them to move on.
>> let me just add, if you go back through the record you could find a number of statements made by some members of the cabinet, certainly numbers of the diet that have set korean teeth on edge and teeth in washington on edge as well. i will not name any names or point any fingers but the record shows that i would agree with you, the vast majority of people in the government and outside the government do not subscribe to some of these more extreme views and interpretations. i think that is true. and public opinion polling in japan confirms that. in terms of what the prime minister might say, one of the watchwords in dealing with these issues is that in light of the tragic and troubled history between korea and japan over the centuries, i saw my japanese -- tell my japanese friends this all the time. you cannot ever stop saying
you're sorry. i know it is difficult but it is true. you have to keep it up. america has its own issues with minorities and our troubled history as well and you cannot end the apology and say that is it, we are done, we are finished. there has to be this ongoing subtext of apology that will go on forever. i would agree with what victor said. the past is so problematic for many koreans that you will never actually ended all -- and it all. the best you can do is manage the problem, shelve it, as i said in my remarks, you cannot erase it, you cannot ignore it. you have to live with it and figure out a way to build a more constructive, positive as the president said, following a more future oriented relationship.
keeping in mind the history. half of my ancestry is irish and we're still fighting certain problematic issues that arose in our relations with the brits. my grandfather was in the ira. there is one for you in terms of the strength of feeling in certain parts of my family about the stuff but somehow the brits and ireland have managed to get beyond a lot of these issues that go back just as far and in some cases further than korea and japan problems. there is a way forward. >> i do not think we are going to solve it but if there can't be enough progress where you can move the history issues out of the spotlight where they are now, if you can move them to the side and compartmentalize and do not ignore them but not have them front and center so they
are the all-consuming viewpoint and all-consuming issue. there are a couple of things. there has to be an acknowledgment by south korea that the problem did not start with abe. anyone who has worked with these issues, it is cyclical. so that we need to correct a lot of the misperceptions and mischaracterizations. when south korea took two hours of a summit with noda and spent a lot of time talking about comfort women, that is a mis-prioritization of issues. some in seoul need to correct when people make a mischaracterization. that is not correct.
that is a falsehood. and also, i think in seoul a need for realization that will -- they will never have 100% compliance. there were always be someone in japan who says something inflammatory. when the president said as long as there are some politicians in japan who say heinous things are incorrect things, we will have problems. you are never going to be able to control 100% of the population from saying some. -- saying something. as i mentioned before if you can get behind the scenes discussions between the two countries where seoul identifies what it wants, what are the words, what are the examples that they want so that japan can see if they've provide those -- if they provide those and agree to move forward if tokyo were to utter those words.
>> is difficult, difficult to come up with the exact formula would be. conceptually i think i know what it is and conceptually the issue is that both in the korean domestic political context and the japanese political context to my it is not legitimate to reconcile relations over history. japanese politicians do not feel lucky it wins them a great deal of legitimacy and domestic legitimacy to be for a cleaning and on the korean side there is no incentive to be conciliatory. the point at which this thing gets better is when east's -- each side perceives the other as taking steps, making a japanese position something that is considered to mystically legitimate.
-- domestically legitimate. that is what happened in postwar germany. the notion of contrition was deemed politically legitimate. something that every politician should aspire to and that is clearly not the case in japan or korea right now. >> we will have to leave the discussion there. i want to thank my panelists for this discussion. it was an excellent discussion. i hope i'm not wrong to be a little hopeful after this discussion. i thought of all the ways it could go very badly. we almost got to the bad outcome. we handled it pretty well. i am glad we heard those views and we can have a conversation. thank you for coming and hope to see you next time. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014]
in a few moments, a look at today's headline plus your calls live on "washington journal." at 11:00 a.m. eastern, the community action partnership annual convention takes place. later, the brookings institution hosts a discussion on the conflict between russia and ukraine at 2 p.m. eastern time. about 45 mins, we will look at the role local and state police have in civil disturbances. our guest is eugene o'donnell, lecturer at the john jay college of criminal justice and a former police officer. our great society series continues at a nerdy a.m. eastern with a discussion of president johnson's push to change immigration laws prayed will be joined by marion smith with the u.n. citizenship and
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